Meet Candice Stroh, the talented and creative nail artist behind the Instagram blog, Constantly Polished (@constantlypolished). We sat down with Candice to get to know her and ask her what got her started as a nail artist.
What got you into nail art?
Candice Stroh: I’ve always enjoyed painting my nails, but I really became interested in nail art when I first joined Instagram about 3 years ago. I began following some amazing accounts on my personal Instagram, and it became apparent fairly quickly what a huge impact nail art had on fashion and vice versa. I was really drawn to the creative aspect of it. It became this outlet that I really enjoyed, and at that point I created @Constantlypolished as a nails only account.
How long have you been writing on your blog?
Since May of 2013.
Tell us about either the first bottle of nail polish or first manicure/nail art you remember having.
I didn’t buy my first polish until I was in my mid 20’s, if you can believe that. I don’t recall the name, but I do know that it was a fabulous oxblood color from L’Oreal, and I wore it frequently.
What sort of things will readers find on your blog?
A little bit of everything actually. Nail art, swatches, nail care tips, instructional videos etc.
What’s your favorite nail art you’ve done? What inspired you to try it?
I did this really colorful abstract color wash technique, using acrylic paint and a fan brush, and then I stamped on top of it using a Cici&Sisi plate. I loved the color combinations and the depth that the acrylic paint created. I just wanted to do something different. I had no real plan when I started that design. I just went with it, and I loved the finished product.
What is your “day job?” What do you do outside your blog?
I’m currently a stay at home Mom to three kids ages 15, 11, and 3. I was also working part time as an ER nurse, before having my youngest child 3 years ago. I decided to take a sabbatical from nursing for a while after I had my son, but I’m thinking about jumping back into it pretty soon.
How do you juggle nails and other aspects of your life? Do you have a routine?
I typically do my nails on weekends, during my son’s naptime during the week, or when he is at preschool twice a week. However, there have been times when I felt like there just weren’t enough hours in a day to get swatches done in time for people. I always find the time to get them done, but with three kids, and a million other things to do, it can be daunting. Luckily, I have a very supportive husband, and that makes all the difference.
What’s one tip/“secret” to a successful blog you can share?
I think just being yourself is extremely important. Create nail art that speaks to you, regardless of if it’s on trend or not. Doing what you love will come across in your work, and people will respond to that. I also think keeping connected to your readers is very appreciated. I try my best to respond to all questions and comments on my account, because I genuinely love the interaction. I’ve met people from all over the globe thanks to nail art, and I think that’s really cool!
What is your absolute favorite color of polish?
I love most colors, but I find myself drawn to dark and vampy colors. Fall is my favorite season, so I welcome all of the dark colors that season brings.
How many different polishes do you own?
I’ve been too scared to count, to be honest. I would guess close to 1,000, if not more. My husband helped me put together a new room in our house that I call my “mani-cave” because I was growing out of my space in our walk-in closet. My husband also just read my answer and then began laughing hysterically. He’s under the impression that I have definitely crossed over the 1,000+ mark. Ha!
Which celebrity’s nails would you jump at the chance to design? What would you put on his/her nails?
Gwen Stefani for sure! She’s this wonderful mixture of sexy, sophisticated, classy, and edgy combined. The possibilities would be endless! There would be lots of studs and bling, and dark colors involved, for sure.
What’s your favorite nail trend?
I’m a huge fan of nail stamping. I love the idea of working smarter, not harder. There are some super cool things you can do with nail stamping plates to put your own twist on things. I’m also not the best with free handing complicated designs, so until that happens, I will always reach for my favorite stamping plates. I’m also fond of negative space nails. I wasn’t too sure of them at first, but they’re growing on me!
What’s the most surprising thing that has happened since you started your blog?
I honestly didn’t realize that I would meet so many wonderful people that were just as infatuated with nail art as I am. It was comforting to know I’m NOT a nail polish hoarder after all. Or if I am, I’m definitely in good company. I also find that other bloggers and Instagram accounts encourage me to step out of my comfort zone, and try new things that I might not have done otherwise, which I appreciate. I always want to continue to grow, and evolve with my nail art.
What’s your favorite base and top coat to use?
I’ve been using Gelous from American Classics as a base coat, and I really love it. Nail Envy by OPI and Duri Rejuvacote by Duri Cosmetics are other favorites. As far as top coats go, I tend to reach for Poshe and Seche Vite the most.
I would be focused more on photography, for sure. Luckily, Instagram allows me to sort of merge both of my interests together, so I’m not necessarily neglecting one love for another.
Have any nail art tips?
I think nail care is a major aspect that we should be focused on. You can be the best artist and create phenomenal nail art, but if your “canvas” is dry, peeling, cracked, and unsightly, that will unfortunately be the first thing people notice.
I find that applying cuticle oil or cream twice a day, and a good hand lotion periodically throughout the day is enough to keep my skin in good condition, and it takes very little time as well. Proper cleanup around cuticles after you paint your nails is also very important. I use a small eyeliner brush dipped in pure acetone to clean up any messes that I make. Trust me, there are plenty of messes! Lastly, just have fun creating! That’s really what it’s all about.
Follow Candice on Instagram for more stunning nail art at @constantlypolished.
Images: Candice Stroh